Makes me want a PS3… and a budget for track days

Gran Tourismo, Playstation’s ultimate driving simulation game (some argue it’s the best on any platform), has announced a feature that bridges the gap between video games and track days.

Back in the good old days, when Mike and I used to have “racing budget”, we practiced driving Laguna Seca on the PS2 with Gran Tourismo, then went and drove the track for real. If we did it now, however, we could take it one step farther by bringing the results of our track day back home and reviewing them on the new version of Gran Tourismo.

Here’s how it works: while at your track day you record your lap times and lines using GPS and “CAN”. When you return home you put the data on a USB stick and plug it into your PS3. You can replay the data by watching your run around the track or use the data as a ghost and race against yourself to improve your lines or see how you would fare against, say, an F1 car (spoiler alert: not very well).

What type of data logger hardware you need isn’t terribly clear in the press release, it just says you need log CAN data. As for tracks, I think it’s a safe assumption that the feature will be limited to the tracks already part of the software.

Won’t be long now

After setting it aside to prepare for Christmas, I finally shipped off my Xbox for [free] repair of the three rings of death. It’s now in the hands of the hardware pixies and I hope to have it back soon!

Fortunately I haven’t been completely without fraggy goodness, I do have a second Xbox. It is, however, a European Xbox so won’t play some titles. I don’t think I’ll get to see Trina online again until I can play Rock Band.

Warranty goodness from Microsoft

After seeing the same hardware failure bite meseveral friends an cause heaps of discontent on the net I’m super-pleased to see us (Microsoft) step up and fix the problem by extending the hardware warranty “for certain general hardware failures which are indicated by three flashing red lights on the console.”  Did you already shell out the 130 clams to fix your box?  No worries, Uncle Bill is also going to be issuing refunds for the covered cases (the estimated cost to MS is one billion dollars.  URK!).

I’d agree this should have not taken this long to correct… but I’m glad it’s getting sorted in the end.  It makes me happy not just for my own sake (my box broke and I can be a bit of a skin-flint at times) but also for the sake of our company image.

For more details, check out the Expanded Xbox 360 Warranty Coverage FAQ.